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Pa. assistant fire chief, EMT dies from COVID-19

Pioneer Hose Company #1 Assistant Fire Chief Robert Zerman may have contracted the virus while responding to a medical call last month, officials said


By Laura French

ROBESONIA, Pa. — A Pennsylvania assistant fire chief, EMT and 911 dispatcher died last week due to COVID-19.

Pioneer Hose Company #1 Assistant Fire Chief Robert Zerman, 49, died Thursday and was honored with a procession of emergency vehicles on Friday. More than two dozen agencies participated in the procession.

Zerman was previously an EMT for Western Berks Ambulance and volunteered with Newmanstown Ambulance Co., Northern Berks EMS and Berks County 911, according to a statement from the Western Berks Ambulance Association. Prior to joining Pioneer Hose Company #1, he served as deputy chief at the Western Berks Fire Department.

Western Berks Ambulance Association CEO Anthony Tucci told WFMZ that Zerman is believed to have contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty. A statement from the association said Zerman tested positive after responding to a medical assist call for Pioneer Hose Company #1 in March.

Zerman is survived by two sons, two grandchildren and two brothers, according to his obituary.

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